Taking a full hour for lunch is seen more and more as a luxury for many professionals in the workforce rather than a right. The frenzied pace of communication coupled with our culture of immediate gratification has led to the lunch hour’s demise in offices all of over the country. The common belief held by many ambitious and diligent workers is that eating lunch at your desk increases productivity because typing with a spoon in mouth or a Subway sandwich in hand is indeed the fastest way to get stuff done between 12 and 1 pm. Despite evidence to the contrary this myth persists. Below are four reasons for you to go ahead and take an hour for lunch – we promise it will do more good than harm!
- It breaks up the day. I understand you feel compelled to maximize your productivity at all hours and perhaps you squeeze in work while you eat in order to get out a tad bit earlier at quitting time. I also understand that leaving at 5:30 is so much better than leaving at 6, but the result is 10 straight hours of toiling for you much of the time. Give yourself a rest and let lunch break your day in half.
- Refresh your mind for the afternoon grind. I didn’t mean to rhyme but I went ahead and did. Taking a lunch break is like giving your brain a well-deserved midday reboot to increase your ability to concentrate during the always difficult 3 o’clock hour – you know that time, it’s when every fiber in your being just wants to take a nap or inject high volumes of caffeine into the bloodstream (not mutually exclusive).
- It’s a great excuse to network. In addition to taking lunch, never eat lunchalone! Take the chance to catch up with your friend in another department. He or she may just happen to introduce you to your next best job opportunity as a result. Power lunches are great for venting frustration, sharing inter-office gossip, and voicing insecurities that will help you become more secure.
- Work-life balance. Humans are not built to work 10 hours straight for 5 days a week cramped up behind a tiny little desk or cube. I know that blue-collar jobs may require working long stretches; those days may indeed be up to 10 hours or more, but at least these types of jobs generally involve some kind of physical exertion and variable movements. As a white collar professional, taking lunch keeps you in touch with your human side and keeps the cyborg dying to kill the next project as quickly and efficiently as possible at bay. More human and less cyborg is good for corporate America and it’s good for you!